Pilot killed in Norco crash of vintage aircraft identified

NORCO, CA, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2019 - A vintage plane crashed into the heart of the California Rehabil
A firetruck outside the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco on Monday after a vintage plane crashed into an exercise yard.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Authorities have identified the pilot who died when a last-of-its-kind flying-wing aircraft crashed and burned at a Southern California prison.

The Northrop N-9M crashed Monday in the exercise yard at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco.

The Riverside County coroner said the pilot was 51-year-old David Vopat of Chino.

FILE - This undated file photo provided by Bernardo Malfitano shows a Northrop N-9M, a one-of-its-ki
A Northrop N-9M, a flying-wing aircraft.
(Bernardo Malfiatno / Associated Press)

He was flying a 1944 aircraft that was restored in the 1990s by the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino. Vopat had often flown the craft and was preparing for an air show next month.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The plane was the last survivor of four models developed by aviation pioneer Jack Northrop. It never went into production, but the shape was later used in the B-2 stealth bomber.